When you are a first time parent, being responsible for another human being is a fairly daunting prospect! It is difficult to know when you are just being a slightly over protective parent and when you really do need to call in medical assistance for your baby. If your baby is very ill and has difficulty in breathing has a very high temperature, is vomiting or defecating excessively, having convulsions or passing blood then you certainly need to call a doctor. Similarly if he is weak and has no energy you may wish to check with a professional. However, in most cases you will be able to simply treat minor problems yourself. Here are a few of the most common baby health issues and tips about treating them.
Caring For A Newborns Umbilical Cord
When your baby comes home, he will still have a part of the umbilical cord attached to his belly button. This will all off within a few weeks. However, it can become infected so until it does drop off you should take care to keep it clean and dry. It is recommended that you gently dab the area once or twice a day with some alcohol on a cotton swab. It is also important to make sure that the baby’s diaper is below the cord so that it is not rubbed or wet with urine. In the event that the cord becomes red and irritated or bleeds and leaks a foul smelling pus, you should contact your baby’s health provider. In the first few weeks this will likely be your midwife.
Preventing And Treating Diaper Rash
It is possible to prevent diaper rash all together by changing your baby’s diaper frequently and washing her bottom with soap and warm water between changes. However, if the skin does become irritated you can apply zinc oxide paste to the affected area. It can also be useful to leave baby uncovered for a few hours each day to let her bottom enjoy fresh air. Do not forget to put some towels underneath her to catch any accidents!
Colic can be one of the most frustrating issues far both parents and babies. It is severe pain caused by wind, and can only really be soothed until it passes. You should ensure that all other needs are taken care of before assuming that it is colic causing baby to cry. Is he wet, hot, lonely or tired? If you are sure it is colic there are a number of ways to calm the pain. Try holding baby stomach down across your lap and rubbing his back. You may also wish to add a gentle rocking motion. Sometimes pushing the baby in a stroller can sooth them. If colic is frequent then consider swapping baby’s diet.